The Champaign Center Partnership is delighted to announce a new addition to the Christie Clinic Parade of Lights, this Saturday, November 25 at 6 pm. Aiden Baszis will be the first ever Junior Parade Marshal!
Like Susan Walker in the classic holiday film Miracle on 34th Street, four-year-old Aiden will usher in the holiday season alongside Kris Kringle at the 17th Annual Parade of Lights which has a retro theme this year: “Miracle on Neil Street.” Aiden will join Grand Marshal, Forty Under 40 Woman of the Year Maghan Moslander, during the parade and will accompany Santa to the balcony of One Main Plaza to light the tree immediately following the parade.
Aiden, of Arcola, Illinois, was selected as Junior Parade Marshal at the Junior League of Champaign Urbana’s Festival of Trees Gala on November 18. This honor was among several items that were live auctioned at the gala to raise support for community organizations including the Crisis Nursery, Courage Connection and Developmental Services Center.
“We are thrilled for Aiden to be the first ever Junior Parade Marshal,” stated Jenette Jurczyk, Junior League President and Parade of Lights Committee Member. “What a unique honor to experience the Parade of Lights in this special way, an event that draws thousands of people to downtown Champaign at the start of the holiday season!”
Pre-parade programming starts early in the afternoon this year with Classic Christmas Shorts at the Art Theater at 2:00 pm, Visits with Santa at Big Grove Tavern at 3:00 pm, and Find Kris Kringle! – a kids’ scavenger hunt through downtown Champaign on Small Business Saturday at 4:00 pm. Caroling and musical entertainment in various locales will begin at 5:00 pm and the parade will start promptly at 6:00 pm featuring lighted floats, marching bands and Santa Claus himself. The event will culminate with the lighting of the tree in One Main Plaza at 7:00 pm.
A select number of VIP tickets that include a pre-parade reception of light bites at Hamilton Walker’s and reserved seating on Park Avenue are available for purchase. Tickets for the VIP section and the full Parade of Lights event schedule and parade route map is available at ChampaignCenter.com.